Magic hour… the beginning and end of the day. As photographers, these moments are important to us. In most cases, they are the best time to be behind the lens and at the same time so much more then that. Although not every magic hour moment is as dramatic as the last, you can always count on them being there to open and close out the day.
Personally, I enjoy the early morning hours the most. Something about venturing out in the dark and watching the world come to life fuels my soul and provides me with experiences that words can’t always describe. These moments go beyond a dramatic sunrise and awaken far more senses then merely visualization.
Sounds and smells become extremely apparent. Fresh dew in the air, scents from nearby pines, the sounds of birds, beavers, crickets and sometimes even silence recharge my mind and always leave me satisfied regardless of the images I produce with my camera.
The memories that the morning hours have provided me with are ones that I’ll never forget, ones that I wouldn’t trade for the world. The soft pink glow of a winter sunrise, a misty fall morning with fog blanketing the forest or the warm twilight of summer bathing the land, every season provides its own unique moments.
And yet in a day and age where most things that are attractive (whether historical, landmarks, or popular geological features) all have a gate around them and an entrance fee, it seems a large majority of people don’t take advantage of the amazing moments that unfold daily all around us. These moments are as accessible or difficult as you want them to be, and the best part, are free of charge.
So my advice to anyone reading this, photographer or not, is to get out there. Wake up early, venture outside where ever you live, and discover what the early morning hours have to offer. Regardless of the weather or location, there are always moments waiting to be found.
It’s the simple things in life that a lot of the times provide more then money could ever buy.
MEET THE AUTHOR
Kyle McDougall is a landscape photographer/workshop leader based out of Ontario, Canada. He specializes in creating fine art images that touch on both a visual and emotional level. When not outside exploring the land you can find Kyle online sharing his images and helping others through his instructional articles. In 2012 Kyle was chosen by Photolife Magazine as one of Canada’s Emerging Photographers. To view more of his work please visit his website: www.kylemcdougallphoto.com